What is the Best Type of Kitchen Lighting?

September 7th, 2020

Warm white vs Cool white

Kitchen mood lighting plays a huge role in setting the tone and ambience of the room. It is often an afterthought of the kitchen design process but should be something that is considered when choosing the type of kitchen, the look you wish to achieve and alongside the colour palette. Many kitchens are now often multi-functional spaces so lighting plays a huge role in transforming the space from a busy family hub during the day to a chilled out place where you can relax and entertain friends and family in the evening.

There are many variants of mood lighting in kitchens from the under-cabinet lights to drawer lights, plinth lights, under worktop lights and internal cabinet lights. Generally, it’s best to stick with one option either cool white or warm white through all your mood lighting creating a theme and flow to space. The lighting options are endless and with technology everchanging through improved LED lighting, colour change and dimmable lighting as well as smart lighting choosing the right type of lighting can be daunting.

Initially, you should decide what type of feel you want for the room, whether you want subtle mood lighting or more prominent and vivid lighting.

Generally, in softer more traditional kitchen designs warm white works extremely well giving a soft, welcoming and homely feel. Warm white under cabinet lighting looks stunning with kitchens that have bold colours for the cabinets such as Blues and greens as the light acts as an accent to the colour rather than clashing with it or overpowering it. Softer warm white lights can also work incredibly well with neutral colours such as creams, whites and with wood or wood grain kitchens. Warm white works perfectly for sitting around an island to kick back in the evening after a long day at work or when having a romantic meal for two.

If the look you are going for is more contemporary, clean lines with handless doors, high gloss and matt finishes - Cool white lights really set the kitchen apart. Here cool white will illuminate the cabinets, reflect and bounce off surfaces to give them a totally different look when on to how they look when the lights are off. If you are someone that likes the room to be bright and to keep that energy boosting feeling that natural daylight gives you, cool or natural white lights are the option for you.

When considering the type of lighting for your kitchen consider the materials that the light will reflect onto, specifically worktops and glass splashbacks. Light reflecting on surfaces can change the look of material so test the light by holding it up to samples to see how they are affected by different tones of light. Certain stones and granites with hints of copper such as Star galaxy from India are accentuated by warm white as the light brings out the copper. Lighter crisp white worktops work well with cool white which maintains that clean minimalist white look whereas a warm white light will give the surface a yellow tinge.

Ultimately the type of light you opt for is your choice, when planning mood lighting it is important to make it a clear and considered choice and although mood lighting can be a relatively small cost in relation to a larger kitchen project, the right type of lighting in the right places will make a massive difference and will set your kitchen apart.

“We're made for the light of a cave and for twilight. Twilight is the time we see best. When we dim the light down, and the pupil opens, feeling comes out of the eye like touch. Then you really can feel colour and experience it”. James Turrell

By The Jikoni Interiors Team